State Voters Slammed with Mostly Republican Political Texts
46 million total messages in 30 days, 64% from Republicans.
“Hi, Jeramey! I am Riley with Jorgensen for President. Who do you support for President: Trump, Biden or Jorgensen?,” reads one of a seemingly never-ending series of text messages I have received in the past two months.
RoboKiller, an application to detect and block spam calls and text messages, estimates that six billion such messages were sent from June through September across the United States. From September 18th through October 17th, the company estimates an additional 2.1 billion messages were sent, part of an accelerating trend in the run-up to election day.
Over the 30-day window from September 18th through October 17th, the company estimates that Wisconsin residents received 46,098,608 total messages. That volume would indicate that each registered voter received approximately 12.9 messages.
Does the texting strategy make a difference? It does. According to a 2018 study, Tech for Campaigns determined that people who received a message were one percent more likely to vote.
That one percent would exceed the approximately 24,000 vote margin Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by in Wisconsin in 2016.
Wisconsin’s swing-state status does yield more text messages. The state’s total exceeds that of larger Massachusetts (34.3 million messages) and on a per-capita basis Wisconsin’s total exceeds Democrat-leaning Illinois (71.8 million) or Republican-leaning Louisiana (21.9 million).
In recent days, as my own phone can attest, many of the messages have become more targeted. Campaigns are using voter data to make sure absentee ballots are returned. My wife just got a text message to remind me to return my ballot (fear not, I already did).
The political parties use a system known as peer-to-peer texting to avoid opt-in regulations governing automated messages. Software, with minimal human intervention, sends out the messages and allows receivers to engage in a conversation with a campaign worker or volunteer that often includes canned responses. The opt-out process is handled entirely by software.
If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.
- Counting Effectively Completed, Milwaukee County Recount Will Finish on Friday - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 25th, 2020
- Milwaukee County Recount Back on Schedule - George Christenson - Nov 25th, 2020
- Tempers Flare, Monty Python Crack Offered at Recount - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 25th, 2020
- Recount an Insult to Minority Voters? - Isiah Holmes - Nov 25th, 2020
- Trump Allies Sue To Throw Out Wisconsin Election - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 24th, 2020
- Early Recount Has Small Gain for Trump - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 24th, 2020
- Op Ed: Republican Slams Party for State Recount - James Wigderson - Nov 24th, 2020
- City Finds 386 Sealed Ballots In a Box - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 24th, 2020
- Trump Campaign Objects to Over 160,000 County Ballots - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 23rd, 2020
- Recount Releases First Results - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 23rd, 2020
Read more about 2020 General Election here